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May 17th, 2012

Hijacked High-Ranked Sites Serve Malicious, Illegal Content, Blacklisted By Google

Researchers have found that Google Safe Browsing has blacklisted a number of legitimate sites after they’ve been hijacked and set up to serve malicious or illegal content. Many of them are ranked high, according to Alexa.

Zscaler experts have scanned the first 1 million websites found in the Alexa top and found that 621 of them are blacklisted by Google, even though some of them are legitimate websites visited by numerous users every day.

Rank Domain Threat Comment
6,239 Malicious JavaScript Hijacked
18,784 Scam Work from home scam
35,610 PDF malware Porn
41,560 Malicious JavaScript Hijacked
47,016 Fake AV Hijacked
52,409 Adware download
52,431 Malicious JavaScript Hijacked
53,902 Malicious JavaScript Hijacked
78,202 Fake AV Hijacked
81,403 Malicious JavaScript Hijacked
82,344 Malicious JavaScript Hijacked
83,858 Malicious IFRAME Porn
125,305 Malicious JavaScript Hijacked
133,455 Malicious JavaScript Hijacked

For instance,, a website that offers subtitles for movies and TV shows, is ranked 6,239. By nature, the site is not malicious in any way, but that doesn’t prevent Google from cataloging it as being so once it detects abnormal activity on it.

According to Zscaler, Subtitle Seeker has been compromised and altered to host a malicious JavaScript.

Other examples include sites that promote “work from home” scams, adult content, and fake antivirus software, but the majority of them have been simply altered to push malicious PDF files, adware, and other types of malware.

Some of them were blacklisted because they were found to contain iframes and JavaScripts that weren’t exactly added to serve a noble purpose.

Government sites are always tempting to cybercriminals. Recently, the same researchers have found a French government website and one from China, both containing pieces of JavaScript added by the attackers.

Statistically speaking, most of the blacklisted domains are hosted in the United States, followed by Germany, France, the Netherlands and China.

Experts advise administrators to regularly verify their websites’ integrity, otherwise all their hard work could go down the drain in an instance once Google identifies it as being malicious.

Credit: News,

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